Amazon Canada Adds Health Disclaimer to Ivermectin Research
Amazon Canada has taken action on its platform to prevent buyers from purchasing ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.
The drug is used to treat parasites in humans and animals, but the formulations are different.
Health Canada issued an advisory on Tuesday asking people not to take the drug to treat COVID-19, after CBC News reported that some people were trying to take the veterinary form of the drug intended for livestock, possibly due to misinformation circulating on its effectiveness for this purpose.
“There is no evidence that ivermectin in either [the human or veterinary] formulation is safe or effective when used for these purposes, “the federal agency warned Tuesday.
“The human version of ivermectin is authorized for sale in Canada only for the treatment of parasitic worm infections in humans.
“The veterinary version of ivermectin, especially in high doses, can be dangerous to humans and can cause serious health problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure… coma and even death.”
CBC News reported on Monday that dozens of social media posts appeared to show Canadians attempting or successfully acquiring ivermectin from online stores such as Amazon in the past few months.
At the time, some versions of the drug for treating horses were available for sale on the site from third-party sellers, but those listings have since disappeared. The tongue-in-cheek reviews left on the US site suggest buyers are using it for humans rather than livestock.
Amazon Canada said Wednesday, in response to a CBC News request sent over the weekend, that it does not offer ivermectin even though some over-the-counter products are permitted for sale in Canada.
The company said its top priority was the safety of customers and that it had added a warning to the drug’s research listings.
That warning appeared to change over the course of Wednesday, initially linking to Health Canada’s coronavirus information page and later to the federal agency’s warning regarding ivermectin.
The research results for ivermectin also appear to have changed. Now when a buyer searches for “Ivermectin COVID”, no results are listed, just the warning that cautions against taking the drug for this purpose. A search for “horse ivermectin” brings up other animal care products, from vitamins to other deworming drugs.
And the suggested research results no longer associate the term “ivermectin” with “COVID-19”.
Tech companies have struggled to prevent disinformation from their platforms throughout the pandemic. Some have updated their policies, removed posts, or added disclaimers, but this has proven to be an ongoing challenge as new claims pop up frequently.
Health Canada said it is closely monitoring all potential treatments for COVID-19, including ivermectin.
“If a manufacturer submitted a submission to Health Canada regarding the use of ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19, Health Canada would conduct a scientific evaluation of the evidence to determine the quality, safety and efficacy of the drug. The agency said.
A complete list of drugs and vaccines authorized for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 is available on the Health Canada website.
There are over 32,000 active cases of COVID-19 in Canada.
Doctors say the most effective prevention for COVID-19 is available for free and doesn’t need to be ordered from Amazon: vaccination.